Date: March 18, 2001
Location: Jacksonville Municipal Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson
After all that, we’ve come down to this. Seventeen years ago, the first WCW (NWA at the time) super show aired and it was called Starrcade. The main event of that show saw Ric Flair win the NWA World Title from Harley Race in a changing of the guard, only to be challenged by Dusty Rhodes before the show ended as part of a legendary feud that would headline the next two Starrcades. Now it’s a show called Greed and Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes will be facing off in a featured match with stipulations involving the loser kissing a certain part of the winner. Sometimes wrestling is funny but this is sad. Let’s get to it.
The opening video focuses on Diamond Dallas Page, who is still standing after everything Scott Steiner has thrown at him.
Tony: “If it’s professional wrestling, it must be greed!”
Jason Jett vs. Kwee Wee
Bonus match. Kwee Wee jumps him during his entrance though to be fair Jason was taking his sweet time going around the ring high fiving fans. Jett comes right back and goes to the top to dive onto Kwee Wee and take over. They head inside with Jason grabbing a reverse Boston crab but also pulling Kwee Wee up by the arm. Tony says he’s never seen anything like it but it’s been seen in WCW before, from Konnan I believe.
Kwee Wee gets out and throws Jason to the floor by the hair. That’s a new one, or at least a painful one. Jett charges at him and gets backdropped onto the apron for something like a Tajiri handspring into a DDT onto the floor. Cool spot. Totally contrived looking, but cool. Back in and Jett is backdropped out to the floor for a big crash and it’s time to choke with a cord. As is always the case, Kwee Wee continues to be so far beyond this gimmick that it’s kind of sad.
Kwee Wee covers on the floor, prompting Hudson to mention that the main event is falls count anywhere. I don’t remember that being mentioned anywhere leading up to this show and unfortunately that’s probably the first time it was announced. We hit the chinlock to slow things down a bit (well earned at this point) and we’re told that the falls count anywhere stipulation was indeed added to the main event on the pre-show. Actually make that the END of the pre-show.
I’d be more mad about that if the company had ten days left, or if Jett wasn’t on top for a superbomb that was countered into a super hurricanrana for two. Kwee Wee calls for the piledriver but Jett reverses and hits the Tajiri elbow. The Crash Landing is escaped (I wonder if Kwee Wee’s hair can be used as a flotation device) and Kwee Wee gets two off a northern lights suplex. Jett sends him outside and lays down to play possum, causing Kwee Wee to miss a top rope legdrop. Serves him right to get hurt after not actually doing anything to put Jason down. The Crash Landing gives Jason the pin.
Rating: B+. I don’t know if it’s the low expectations or just being happy that I don’t have another WCW pay per view after this but I dug the heck out of this match. These two were all over the place with big spot after big spot and I wanted to see what they were going to do next. It’s a shame that both guys were basically done after this (save for Kwee Wee wrestling women in TNA) due to not arriving soon enough and having a horrible gimmick.
We recap the Cruiserweight Tag Team Title tournament.
Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles: Elix Skipper/Kid Romeo vs. Kidman/Rey Mysterio
The titles are vacant coming in and Kidman throws a curveball by wearing a gray shirt for a change. That’s WCW’s version of mind games I suppose. Kidman and Romeo start things off with Romeo hitting an Alley Oop of all things to take over. Skipper comes in and slams his partner onto Kidman for two but it’s quickly off to Rey for a springboard legdrop to take over.
They fight up the ramp with Mysterio and Kidman hitting stereo dives off the stage for a good looking spot. Back in and Skipper knees Kidman out to the floor in a crash. Romeo spends too much time chopping though and gets beaten up in the corner, only to have Romeo back with Mysterio’s sitout bulldog. We hit the chinlock for a bit before it’s back to Skipper to choke on the ropes.
Elix takes him to the top until Kidman takes him down with a sitout powerbomb and a round of applause. The hot tag brings in Rey to clean house and send Elix shoulder first into the post. Kidman hits a top rope shooting star to the floor to take out both Romeo and Skipper. Back in and a reverse suplex gets two on Romeo with Skipper making the save. Skipper dragon suplexes Rey into a guillotine legdrop from Romeo with Kidman diving in for a save.
The good guys one up them with a powerbomb into a top rope splash for two on Skipper, followed by the Bronco Buster. It’s nonstop action at this point. Kidman and Skipper head to the floor, leaving Rey to moonsault into the Last Kiss to give Romeo and Skipper the inaugural titles.
Rating: A-. Sweet goodness this show is on fire to start. This was the kind of match you would expect from the previous generation of cruiserweights which didn’t seem to be possible until a few months ago. Outstanding stuff here with four guys flying all over the place to show off for the crowd and make the titles look like something special.
More documentary stuff Buff saying he’s doing this so he can get his face on TV. Basically Flair says they’ll all win tonight. Animal actually talks a bit here, only showing how worthless of a signing he was. Can anyone explain to me why Mike Awesome couldn’t have played the exact same role? Other than giving Animal a payday of course.
We recap Shawn Stasiak vs. Bam Bam Bigelow which has had all of six days’ build. Basically Shawn doesn’t like bald tattooed people and you can figure out the rest for yourself.
Shawn Stasiak vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Stacy is back in the Miss Hancock gear and I forgot how well that look worked. She introduces the Shawn and Stacy Show with Shawn doing the same horrible insults that didn’t get him over in the first place. Bigelow drives him into the corner to start but Shawn nips up. That is the extent of the comparisons that will be made between Shawn Stasiak and Shawn Michaels.
A shove sends Stasiak outside and that means we need a timeout. Bigelow knocks him to the floor again as this is already horrible. Shawn comes back in with a high cross body and some posing, only to have Bigelow destroy him again for the top rope headbutt. This brings Stacy to the apron for the hair down distraction, allowing Shawn to spray Bigelow in the eyes with some perfume. The neckbreaker puts Bigelow away.
Rating: F. We get two great matches to open the show and then have to sit through the latest attempt to make Shawn Stasiak mean something. It doesn’t help that Stasiak’s offense is move, pose, move, pose, cheat to win with a neckbreaker. We would have been much better off with just having Stacy stand in the ring reciting the alphabet for six minutes instead but that might be too complicated for WCW.
Shawn and Stacy kiss post match.
Cat tells Miss Jones to stay in the back but she won’t stand for it.
Romeo and Skipper put the belts on each other.
We recap Hugh Morrus/Konnan vs. Team Canada which is basically I hit you, you hit me.
Team Canada vs. Hugh Morrus/Konnan
There’s no Canadian national anthem for Storm so we get the dramatic head turn as Hugh Morrus’ music plays instead. It’s a brawl to start (duh) with Awesome and Morrus but it’s quickly off to Storm. Hudson brings up the fact that Storm and Morrus were supposed to have their final battle but “the heat was too great.” The double teaming continues on Morrus with Konnan punching Storm from the apron, only to knock him right into Hugh to prevent the hot tag.
The locker room leaders ladies and gentlemen. Konnan gets the tag a few seconds later but Awesome runs him over a few seconds in to keep the Canadians in control. Morrus gets to play cheerleader as Storm gets beaten down in the wrong corner. Awesome’s clothesline gets two and Konnan’s small package gets the same. A top rope shoulder knocks Konnan into his own corner but thankfully Awesome is smart enough to pull him right back. Storm’s dropkick hits Konnan in the hands so clearly that even the announcers have to acknowledge it.
We hit the chinlock for a bit, followed by the referee missing the hot tag. A piledriver from Awesome sends Konnan back first onto Awesome’s legs but Storm’s awkward looking top rope….something lands on Konnan’s raised boot. That was really weird looking as Storm seemed to be going for a swan dive (not exactly a standard move for him but had to move forward to hit Konnan’s foot. Either way it’s enough for the hot tag to Morrus, only to have Storm superkick him down. Konnan and Storm fight to the floor but Lance is able to break up No Laughing Matter, setting up the Awesome Bomb for the pin.
Rating: D+. The match was longer than it needed to be but this could have been a lot worse. That being said it’s also not any interesting match and I’m also not sure why these teams were fighting in the first place. It also doesn’t help that they weren’t exactly putting in the strongest effort, though it’s kind of hard to blame them at this point.
Dusty Rhodes orders 240 burritos to get ready for his match later. See, if Flair loses he has to kiss Dusty’s….yeah you get the idea.
Buff interviews Rick Steiner, who isn’t sure why Scott is so freaked out. It’s probably Midajah though.
Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire look at something several feet away from the camera as they talk about how they’ll die to keep the Tag Team Titles.
Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Shane Helms
Chavo is def…..what’s that? Oh WCW put up the wrong graphic because they can’t go five minutes without screwing something up? Let’s try this again.
Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Shane Helms
Chavo is defending for reasons that the announcers can’t cover because they’re too busy talking about Dusty and his burritos. Ignore them saying the wrong number of burritos because they can’t remember something Dusty said five minutes ago. Chavo beat Shane back in January but Shane has gotten much better (and put on trunks instead of pants) since then and earned another title shot last month.
A headlock gives Chavo early control and a clothesline cuts off Shane’s attempt to increase the pace. Shane gets in a middle rope fist drop for two as the fans aren’t exactly thrilled by this. It’s almost like those two really boring matches killed the crowd’s enthusiasm or something. A high angle t-bone suplex gets two for the champ and it’s off to an STF. The idea they’re going for is Chavo taking away Shane’s rhythm and not letting him get anything going so at least there’s an idea here.
We hit a Muta Lock for a bit before they can’t bridge into a backslide. Shane comes back and sends Chavo outside, only to have the champ slide back in and hit a dive off the top. You don’t see Chavo fly often but he looks good when he does it. Back in and Shane grabs a swinging neckbreaker to put both guys down.
The Sugar Smack knocks Chavo off the apron but he comes right back with a sitout reverse inverted DDT. Helms grabs the Nightmare on Helms Street for two but Chavo crotches him on top, only to pick Shane up instead of cover. Ever the overconfident one, Chavo tries his own Vertebreaker and is promptly reversed into the real thing to give Shane the title.
Rating: B-. This was much more entertaining than good but the important part was the story they told to get here. Shane started off as the unpolished talent and then moved on to become the champion after honing his skills. Chavo was a great champion and more than made the title feel important again but his reign was over and it was Shane’s time. Not a great match but a really good story.
Flair and Jarrett say they’ll win.
Booker T. says he’s coming for the only title he’s never won.
We recap Sean O’Haire/Chuck Palumbo vs. Totally Buff which is your standard new school vs. old school feud. The champs have beaten Luger and Bagwell for weeks now so the signs point to new champions here.
Tag Team Title: Totally Buff vs. Sean O’Haire/Chuck Palumbo
Totally Buff, challenging here, have individual entrances. Before the match we need to hear about Luger and Bagwell getting rid of Goldberg all over again because that hasn’t been touched on enough. The champs come to the ring and it’s a superkick into the Seanton Bomb for the pin to retain in less than a minute. Hudson: “That was a Georgia Championship Wrestling squash!” I guess it takes the company dying to have Luger put someone over this strongly like he should have done two years ago. As glad as I’ll be to see WCW finally finish, I’d still really like to see what they did with O’Haire. That guy had it.
Scott Steiner yells about beating Page tonight.
We recap The Cat vs. Kanyon which started when over Kanyon laying out Miss Jones, attacking her in a hospital and then not being able to stop the angry limo driver, who came off as looking like the big star out of all this thing.
Buff is still down in the ring but gets up pointing at his neck.
The Cat vs. Kanyon
Kanyon goes after Jones again and is sent into the barricade a few times. Apparently Kanyon broke his hand on Monday night (not Tuesday Tony). They head inside for the first time with cat electric chair dropping Kanyon off the ropes but Kanyon starts hitting him with the cast.
That just earns him a powerbomb because a cast shot to the head merely annoys Cat. Kanyon gets two off a top rope clothesline, which Hudson says wasn’t worthy of a cover. The middle rope Fameasser gets the same and we hit the chinlock, followed by a swinging neckbreaker for two. Cat’s superplex gets two and it’s time for the dancing martial arts.
Kanyon can’t do his snap sitout Alabama Slam for some reason so he settles for a Boston crab instead. A Feliner out of nowhere gets two as Kanyon puts his foot on the rope because this match needs to keep going. Kanyon’s cast shot gets two more (that’s a horrible cast) and the referee goes down. Jones comes in and kicks Cat by mistake, only to kick Kanyon away, setting up the Feliner for the pin.
Rating: D. The ending was the only possible choice but that doesn’t mean it was the right way to get there. Kanyon clearly wasn’t trying and you don’t want to have the Cat be the one responsible for carrying a match. Boring match here but at least we got one more appearance from Miss Jones for the road.
Post match Kanyon gives Cat the Flatliner but Smooth comes out to save Jones.
Totally Buff argues over the loss.
Dusty has eaten a lot of burritos and promises it’s going to smell bad. This isn’t funny.
We recap Booker T. vs. Rick Steiner which is really just to give Booker something to do before he can fight Scott for the World Title.
US Title: Rick Steiner vs. Booker T.
Booker is challenging. Rick punches him to the floor to start and sends Booker into the crowd because this is about making Rick look strong. Back in and a Pearl River Plunge gets a delayed two for the champion but Booker grabs an Angle Slam of all things. That’s it for his offense at the moment though as Rick gets in a belly to belly for two. We hit the chinlock because Booker can’t be on offense for more than ten seconds in a row.
It’s also too much to ask for Rick to actually crank on the hold. Booker comes back again and hits the ax kick (now the Ghetto Blaster) but the referee gets kicked by mistake so Rick can take over AGAIN. Cue Shane Douglas to hit Rick with the cast but Rick is fine enough to miss a swing, setting up the Bookend to give Booker the title.
Rating: F. That’s entirely on Rick as Booker wasn’t even on offense for a minute in this whole thing. I don’t know what happened to Rick in the last few years but he has turned into the most selfish worker I’ve ever seen. Booker is one of the best of all time but you have to give him SOMETHING to work with other than a bunch of chinlocks and a beating.
Buff has been laid out and Lex accuses Animal.
We recap the Rhodes Family vs. Ric Flair/Jeff Jarrett. Dustin wouldn’t join the Magnificent Seven so Ric has gone after him. The only option was to bring in Dusty Rhodes because it’s not like there was anyone else they could have gone with here. It’s not like they could have gone with O’Haire, Palumbo, or any of the other young guys. No, they had to have a long feud with Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell remember. I mean, you get a nice nostalgia moment with Dusty and Ric but WCW needs to have people like Flair and Dustin giving what rubs they can to someone at this point, not being the focal points.
Jeff Jarrett/Ric Flair vs. Dustin Rhodes/Dusty Rhodes
Losers have to, shall we say, kiss up to the winners. Flair is wrestling in a Hawaiian shirt for reasons that aren’t quite clear. Actually Ric says he won’t wrestle, which results in Animal being ejected. Jeff jumps Dustin to start but gets punched in the corner several times. Dustin crotches him against the post with Tony saying “the Yellow Rose of Texas.” No real context to that one unless he’s changed Dustin into David Von Erich.
Flair comes in for some chops and it’s off to Dusty for some strutting. Dustin is back in but the Dust Buster is broken up to give the heels control again. Jeff does the sleeper and they go through the standard counter package. It’s time to work on Dustin’s knee but Flair get small packaged for two.
Jeff comes right back in and puts on the Figure Four. That goes nowhere as Dustin escapes and hits a belly to back for the tag to Dusty, who apparently is full of burritos and ready to go. Dusty drops the big elbow for two on Flair and it’s back to Dustin as everything breaks down. Double Figure Fours are broken up and Dustin rolls Flair up for the pin.
Rating: D. I’m not wild on Dustin and Jarrett as the young pups for this match but it was a one off match and fun enough match for what it was. The fans reacted to it and while they would have been better off giving someone young a rub here, it could have been much worse. Also the show needed something much more lighthearted after the string of lame matches that people didn’t want to see.
Ric bails so Jeff has to take a very weak Stinkface from Dusty.
We recap Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page with the idea of Page being the last hero standing. Well save for Booker who came back after this match was made.
WCW World Title: Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Page is challenging, anything goes, and this is falls count anywhere, which was announced less than three hours ago. Midajah is here with Steiner, making her attack on Monday seem a bit pointless. Steiner knocks him outside to start but Page comes back in with a top rope clothesline for two. The champ takes over on the floor and gets in some yelling at fans.
They fight over the Spanish announcers’ table (oh it’s so funny) with Scott breaking a kid’s crutch over Page’s back. The same kid throws Page his other crutch for a shot to Steiner’s back so Page can drive an elbow through a table for two. Back to ringside with Page hitting him in the head with a breakaway plate of some sort for another near fall. A t-bone suplex drops Page and it’s off to the bearhug.
Steiner puts his boot between Page’s shoulders and pulls back on the arms until a DDT plants the champ. Back up and Page gets the Diamond Cutter, only to have Rick Steiner pull out the referee. The bloody Page is put in the Recliner but makes sure to do the Austin in the Sharpshooter pose before reaching the ropes. Some shots to the ribs with a pipe set up another Recliner to knock Page out and retain the title.
Rating: C+. This was a match where they put too much stuff in at the end and it bogged the rest down. Page was as good as you would expect him to be as he’s one of two stable main eventers (the other being Booker T.) for months if not years now. The falls count anywhere stipulation didn’t need to happen but the bloody collapse near the end suited Page well. Shame they can’t follow up on it though.
A recap of the night’s events wrap up the show.
Overall Rating: C. I know the line is that the cruiserweights often carry a WCW show but I never remember it happening to this kind of an extreme. Main event aside, the cruiserweights were the only good things (save for a 54 second squash) on this entire show. The middle portion of this show was an absolute disaster and the best proof you’ll find of how understaffed WCW was around their final few shows. The Cat is treated as a big star, Booker T. gets squashed until he wins off a fluke, Ice Train is a conquering hero, and something about Dusty Rhodes eating burritos.
Now let’s talk about the good for a bit. That opening half hour with the two cruiserweight matches is as good a stretch as WCW has put on in a very, very long time. It’s fast paced, it’s high quality and it’s half of exactly what the show should have opened with. This is a standard problem with WCW: they load most of the exciting matches on the top of the show and then let things die throughout the middle. Swap Cat vs. Kanyon with the Cruiserweight Tag Team Title match and see how much better it feels, if nothing else due to having the titles seem more important.
No matter how you look at it though, that’s the final WCW pay per view and it’s still the same batch of problems that their shows had for a long time, mainly stemming from the talent near the top not being great. I know Dustin is still around today but that doesn’t mean he should be in the second biggest match on a pay per view. This show worked due to how hard the young guys worked but it was just far too little too late.
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